S04 let lead slip to draw 2-2 in Cologne

FC Schalke 04 let a two-goal lead slip on Sunday (22.4) to draw 2-2 in Cologne. Breel Embolo (5’) and Yevhen Konoplyanka (23’) gave the Royal Blues a comfortable lead early on, but the team struggled to made further chances count. The Billy Goats pulled one back through Leon Bittencourt (26’) before Marcel Risse fired in a free kick in the 83rd to snatch a point.

Five changes in the starting XI

Domenico Tedesco made five changes to the team that lost midweek in the cup: Weston McKennie, Bastian Oczipka, Yevhen Konoplyanka, Franco Di Santo and Breel Embolo all come in for Nabil Bentaleb, Alessandro Schöpf, Amine Harit, Guido Burgstaller and Marko Pjaca.

Konoplyanka assists opener and scores second

Despite playing midweek, it was the Royals Blues who looked the fresher side in the early stages on a slippery pitch Cologne. The quick start yielded a goal after just five minutes when Breel Embolo tapped in past Timo Horn after a precise Konoplyanka cross from the left. Schalke had a big penalty shout waved away after 15 minutes when Dominique Heintz clattered into the back of Breel Embolo in the box, but the referee saw no foul.

Risse levels late on

The Royal Blues started the second half with intent and dictated the flow of the game. But as the clock ticked towards full time, the Billy Goats grew in confidence and belief, which only made for a more thrilling spectacle for the fans. Fährmann was called into action in the 55th minute to keep out a Simon Terodde chance from close range.

At the other end, both Di Santo and Naldo had dangerous moments. Schalke had more and more chances on the break, but failed to make them count. The Royal Blues’ wastefulness in front of goal would come back to haunt them in the 83rd minute, when Risse thumped a 25-yard free kick past Fährmann to level the scores at 2-2. Caligiuri had one final chance at the other end, but was unable to direct his shot on goal.

At home against Gladbach

The Royal Blues play host to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the penultimate home game of the season on Saturday (28th April, 15:30). Should Schalke win, Champions League qualification for the 2018/19 season will be confirmed.

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